The New Groove

After the flu and a rough start, we’ve finally got a good groove going. We’re still making adjustments along the way, but I must say I’ve been very encouraged overall.

One of my greatest concerns this year was having three kids going three different directions. Could I coordinate it all? I know there are mothers who homeschool 7 or 8 and all in different grades and accomplish it just fine. But could I? I was a little nervous about it.

Obviously,¬†everything is still pretty new and exciting to everyone, but here are a few things we’ve done that have really helped to pull things together for us.

First, we start together. We begin with prayer, the pledge and national anthem, some fun rhythm and silly song activities, calendar time, and our memory work (a poem and a Scripture verse). Then, we have Bible time together, using our Tapestry of Grace materials.

After about a half hour together, we split ways. Oldest starts the day with his Reflex Math, and Middlest begins with me. (Littlest starts in the floor and usually ends up in my lap.)

K4 math

Middlest’s favorite subject is math, so we begin there. She’s working on identifying numbers up to 20, counting to 100, skip counting by 10, and some basic addition. We work together through her activities and flashcards before moving on to reading. For reading, we’ve transitioned with a read-aloud; she picks the story. After I read, she “reads” to me.

K4 activities

We’ve been having a lot of fun with the “Funny Words” activity from Confessions of a Homeschooler. It gives her all of the same practice as her blend flashcards, and she works through them much more willingly. She is getting really good at deciphering her three letter words.

K4 reading

I also have her practice reading one of her little readers from A Beka. She’s not very confident yet, and thus, not always very willing to read to me. BUT, she eagerly reads to Littlest, so that’s my tactic. Any time I sense hesitation to read to me, I suggest that she reads to him. The last thing I want is to associate reading with something she dreads. At her age, I definitely want school to be fun; it can be hard work, but I want it to be hard work she enjoys or that is rewarding for her.

All of this takes us roughly 30 to 45 min. Oldest usually finishes his computer math in about 15 to 20 min. and then begins on his worksheets. When I’ve finished with Middlest, I set her to work on a worksheet and then move her to the computer. Littlest grabs a mid-morning snack while Oldest finishes up his independent work. Then, after I put Littlest down for a nap, I do a speed drill with Oldest and finish his math “classwork” with him (using A Beka). Next is his language arts: phonics cards and language arts concepts; reading assignment; and spelling words. This takes us another 30 to 45 min.

First Grade math

By around 11 a.m., we are ready to begin our Tapestry activities: map work, read-alouds, art and crafts, etc. We wrap it up at about noon and break for lunch.

So that’s our new groove! I can’t tell you how relieved I am that everything is meshing together as smoothly as it is right now. I know every day won’t be smooth sailing (I’m bracing myself for the upcoming storms!), but at least this first success has given me the confidence I needed to meet the obstacles we’ll face later this year.

How have your first few weeks been, and what have they taught you?

3 thoughts on “The New Groove

  1. Thanks for sharing your day. We have a 7yr old (2nd grade) and 5 yr old (kinder) and a two year old boy (enough said!!!) This is our 7th week. We started mid-August because our 4th child is due in Nov. and I wanted to get ahead. The first 3-4 weeks were going really well. I felt more confident and after praying and praying about the schedule, I was very thankful that it was going well. Not sure, maybe it’s just me being 8 months preggo, but the last 2 weeks have not went so well. It just seems like we’ve had a lot of distractions, but this weekend, I’m taking some time to look at what may need some adjustments and we will keep going forward.
    Our schedule is similar to yours. We start the day together with Bible time and pledge, etc. Then, I start my daughter (5 yr old) with some activities. Then, I teach my son (2nd grade) his phonics lesson-ABeka. After his lesson, he does his worksheets, reading, and spelling independently while I teach my daughter her phonics lesson — ABeka. After phonics, we then do My Father’s World history together. They are really liking that. Then we do calendar time and counting activities together. Then, I teach each one their individual math lessons (ABeka).
    During this time, the 2 year old is usually tearing up the room, dumping things out of containers so he can turn it over to be a drum, etc. I feel like he just wants my attention, so I am really trying to work on giving him extra time at the beginning of the morning and maybe he will not feel “left out.” Or, mabye he’s just being a typical 2yr old boy!!!!!
    I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. I am very thankful to be able to teach my children.

    • Post Author Tracy

      What a full day of fun! I must say that the closer I got to my due date, the more relaxed school became and I cut more and more of our extras. During my last month, we only did bare essentials. And I’m so glad My Father’s World is working out for you!

  2. I also meant to say….that after lunch, when the youngest is napping, we do reading from chapter book, Science, Art, and finish anything that did not get completed in the morning.

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